To those of you who live with your significant others, especially if you are not married: How combined are your lifestyles?
I ask because I have recently noticed that Daniel and I keep an awful lot of things separated when it comes to cohabitating. For instance:
We more or less take turns buying. That said, sometimes, 90% of the items are “mine,” as in, things for me to put in my lunch that Daniel doesn’t necessarily want or eat, and how is that fair that he has to pay for all that food he won’t eat? We usually compromise by having the offender pay for the groceries that time and then resume tradeoff the next time. This is obviously not a perfect solution, and I am curious how other people deal with it. Do you view it as a “household” expense that just gets paid regardless of who does the eating of the food?
We have separate hampers and generally do our laundry completely independent of one another. Sometimes someone will ask, “Are you doing laundry? Can you throw in [blank] if you have room?” or whatever it may be. Is it more efficient to wash everything together? Are we just crazy?
None of our finances are combined. I’ve heard off and on that this is a smart move, as you don’t want too many things wrapped up “just in case” – whether that’s true or not, we’ve just never bothered to get a joint account. We handle most jointly-paid items by switching off who pays them. I might pay the cable bill one month while Daniel covers electricity and gas, or I pay rent and he pays me back half of it.
I suppose these questions could apply to roommate situations as well, but in that case I feel like you are less inclined to voluntarily cover someone else’s expenses if need be. How do you handle these things in your household?